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As promised, EA will let buyers of the new SimCity download a free game on Origin to compensate for the city-building sim's troubled launch. The free games they're offering are better than expected.

If you've purchased SimCity and registered the game by March 25th, you'll be eligible to download one of the following games:
  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
It's a diverse selection of games, some of which are pretty new. Dead Space 3 is only about a month old. It's not a game I enjoyed but nonetheless, it's a $60 game that EA is giving away for nothing.

You might be assuming there's a catch. As it turns out, there is. You won't have much time to get this free game. EA says they'll launch the web portal for redeeming this offer on March 22nd and then close it on March 30th. After that, you won't be able to get your freebie.

EA is offering the free game due to launch issues with SimCity's servers. The game requires you to be logged in at all times in order to play, so the server problems rendered the game unplayable. This resulted in petitions, a boycott, and a whole lot of angry gamers.

Will the freebie stop all the online protests? Probably not. They'd probably rather EA just removed the online requirement from the game. As hackers have shown, it's pretty easy to do.